When was the last time you sent a gift in the post to someone you love, just because you could, knowing that it would take several days to arrive through the recipient’s letterbox, and being perfectly happy with that? With the exception of birthday and Christmas cards, chances are that the last time you wrote a letter and posted off something sentimental is a distant memory.
Back in the first days of the internet, receiving standard mail was so commonplace that an email gave us such a buzz. Now, when we have potentially hundreds of unread emails, the click of the letterbox brings us unprecedented levels of excitement. As many of us have family scattered across the globe, our methods of communication have adapted to allow us to speak to them as regularly as possible, but even in today’s modern world there are some things that technology simply cannot replace.
While technology has been extraordinary in breaking down the barriers of distance, it has also taken away the thrill of receiving something special in the mail. In a world where we are always on the go, with speed and convenience being our top priorities, how exactly do we share memories with relatives on the other side of the globe?
Social media or posting parcels?
In order to find out more about how people across the world keep in touch with one another, we asked 750 people the question; ‘How do you keep in touch with relatives living abroad?’ The results ended up very much in favour of digital communication, with the traditional art of putting pen to paper appearing to take a back seat.
The majority of those surveyed (28.8%) said that they would use social media to get in touch with people, with email coming in second at 22.7% and a Skype call in third with 20.5% of the vote. Traditional telephone calls or texts were rather unpopular with 16% of the vote, perhaps due to the high fees attached to calling and texting people abroad. Meanwhile, sending letters by post came in last with only 7.6% of respondents choosing this option.
An average of 38% of those aged between 18 and 44 years preferred to use social media to contact their relatives living abroad. Only an average of 3.2% of the same age bracket said they would send a handwritten letter.
An average of 38% of those aged between 18 and 44 years preferred to use social media to contact their relatives living abroad. Only an average of 3.2% of the same age bracket said they would send a handwritten letter and parcel.
Towards the higher end of the age spectrum, the preference for contact shifts away from social media and instead towards email and telephone calls or texts. This preference isn’t surprising, especially as latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 11% of 65 – 74 year olds and only 3% of those aged 75+ belong to a social networking website. However, what is surprising is that traditional letters of communication still aren’t a favourite with the older generation. Although the number of people sending letters increases with age, with an average of 15% of those age 55 – 65+ choosing this, it is still the least popular option.
Bring back snail mail
In a world filled with digital correspondence, from the bleep of a text to the ping of an email as it arrives in your inbox to be read immediately, speed and convenience is everything. It is far easier, quicker and often cheaper to send an email to a relative in another country or post important pictures on Facebook for distant friends to see, which means that the handcrafted package is in danger of dying out.
Throughout our lives we go through so many wonderful moments; getting married, the birth of a child, watching that child go to school for the very first time and if there’s one thing we love to do it is to share these moments with as many people as possible. While it’s great to see photos of your cousin’s wedding in Australia that you couldn’t attend on Facebook, or open an email attachment to see a scan of your unborn baby niece on the screen, it’s just not the same as holding that memory in your hands.
Here at Parcel2Go.com, we believe that the art of writing letters and sending sentimental items through the post is one that should be revived. As part of our new campaign ‘Sent With Love’, we hope to reconnect families across the world through small gifts and tokens of affection via good old-fashioned mail. As we encourage families everywhere to reach back to their childhood with a handwritten letter and parcel full of love, take a read of our top reasons why you should join us and send a parcel to a loved one today.
It shows you care
We all know it is so much easier and quicker to send an email, text or a Facebook message, which is why sending a handwritten letter shows the person just how much you care about them. You have set aside time during your day to print off wedding pictures or package up that child’s school report you are just so proud of. The recipient knows that you put thought and effort into that and while it’s nice to send an email to your sister living halfway across the world; imagine how wonderful it would feel for her to find a personal letter and memory sitting on her doormat.
It will be a surprise
Nowadays, the only post we tend to receive are bills, bank statements or junk mail, and those aren’t even handwritten. Whether they’ve had a bad day or a great day, a carefully penned letter with a hand-painted picture from your toddler will brighten any grandparent’s day even more, especially as they wouldn’t be expecting it at all. Trust us, it’ll have a far greater impact than an email attachment.
It doesn’t actually take that long
The term snail mail was most likely coined when the lethargic garden mollusc moved faster than our postal service, but nowadays there is the wonderful phenomenon of first-class and next-day delivery. These options mean that your parcel could go from being penned and packaged by you to open in the reader’s hands in just a couple of days. There really isn’t an excuse not to send one.
There’s no denying that we’re all on the go, and sending a text or an email to our family halfway across the world is the quickest way to show them we are thinking about them. But why not make a change and go the extra mile to put a smile on someone’s face by sending them a handwritten letter and meaningful parcel? Let’s keep the love of sending touching messages and tokens in the post alive and make sure it doesn’t become something we tell our baffled grandchildren about; like dial-up internet, mixtapes and phones with wires.
For more information on the Sent With Love campaign or to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.